Revised IBM Firewall Foils Spoofers, Spammers

IBM Corp.'s latest firewall release will offer protection for multimedia applications as well as shield users from unwanted e-mail.

Among the key features in SecureWay Firewall 4.1, which runs on Windows NT and AIX servers, is support for the SOCKS V5 protocol. SOCKS V5 can be used to define security policies for dealing with Real Audio and other high-bandwidth multimedia applications being accessed outside the corporate network. SOCKS V5 can also be used to provide secure access for external users to multimedia content running on a corporate network.

IBM has added a number of features for preventing annoying e-mail, such as spam, from getting to end users. The firewall's Secure Mail Proxy technology blocks spam by checking messages to see if they have addresses that can be replied to - most spam does not. If a reply can't be made, the message is blocked.

The proxy technology also contains an algorithm that prevents spoofing - the practice of making an e-mail appear as if it came from an address other than its true point of origin. The proxy detects spoofs by checking the sending message transfer agent's IP address against the domain name of the originator. The firewall also can be configured to block relay messages that are neither from nor to a network's users and that can tie up e-mail resources.

The revised SecureWay Firewall offers network address translation support, which will allow customers to use one address outside the network to represent multiple addresses within the net. This ability makes it easier to manage security when outside users need to access internal resources, IBM says.

To speed the firewall's performance on the RS/6000, IBM has added symmetric multiprocessing support. This means that the firewall's workload can be distributed over two or more processors sharing common memory.

SecureWay Firewall 4.1 is available now and starts at US$2,079. Upgrades for Version 4.0 start at $833 per user.

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